Supply Chain and Supply Chain Management

What are supply chain and supply chain management?


A supply chain is the toughest backbone of any business. It constitutes an elaborative phase between steps like manufacturing and delivery. If there is any loophole in the supply chain, the whole system collapses. A manufacturer collects raw materials and then involves various machinations to make a product that eventually leads to the making of a product. That product is then eventually prepared to be sent out for delivery to the end-user or customer. The whole chain of functions from manufacturing to delivery falls under the premises of the supply chain. Often many mistakes supply chain and logistics. These two are not exactly synonymous. Logistics and delivery are fragments of the supply chain. Transportation logistics is thus a minuscule part of the supply chain.


The supply chain is an expansive and elaborate concept that ranges from the starting point of manufacturing to the end point of delivery. As a result, the supply chain is a key phase that takes up the lion’s share of a work function. One has to keep on upgrading the supply chain mechanism in order to strengthen transportation logistics as well. So, supply chain management is a crucial step.


What is supply chain management?


In layman’s understanding, it comprises maintenance/operational aspects of managing finances, goods and services. From procurement to final delivery, a centralised system of managing everything falls under the purview of supply chain management.


What are some models of the supply chain?

There are many kinds of models of supply chain management. The prevalent ones are described below:


  1. Continuous: Products from high user demand fall in the category of the  Continuous Supply Chain model. These products are in demand throughout the year. As a result, there is a steady demand and supply requirement. Products need to be manufactured and delivered at a steady speed. 
  2. Flexible: The demand for certain products shoots up in certain seasons. These products fall within the Flexible Supply Chain model. The demand and supply elevate during the peak season. However, as the demand goes down in the non-seasons, the supply chain should be accordingly changed. Fewer products have to be made. On the other hand, maintaining the flow of product manufacturing may become inconvenient. In this category, often mistakes are made streamlining the production process.
  3. Fast Chain: Fast Supply Chain supply model is concerned with the manufacturing of perishable goods or short-spanned products. High-end fashion brands for example often try to sell all their existing season’s products, until they launch a new one.
  4. Custom-configuration: This model of supply chain manufactures only customised products as per the buyer’s demands. Fashion and lifestyle products are mostly part of this supply chain category. It rarely applies to the FMCG supply chain. Slow moving consumer goods like furniture and appliances products go through the custom-configuration model of the supply chain.


The logistics aspect of the supply chain system needs very efficient operations. In the present-day scenario when the entrepreneurship wave in India is gaining momentum, the supply chain has become all the more important.